VANCOUVER // The Los Angeles Kings took advantage of a Vancouver penalty in overtime to score a 3-2 victory and even their best-of-seven NHL play-off series at one game each yesterday. The Canucks were penalised for having too many men on the ice in the second game of the Western Conference and Anze Kopitar fired home the winner in the power play period. It capped a comeback for the young Los Angeles team after netminder Jonathan Quick gave up two goals on the first four shots he faced in the first period.
"That's been a trademark of ours all season," said the Los Angeles coach Terry Murray. "We showed a lot of grit." After Steve Bernier and Mikael Samuelsson gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead, the Kings came storming back in the second period when Fredrik Modin and Wayne Simmonds scored less than a minute apart. Neither team could find the net in the third period, sending the game to overtime. Los Angeles, who will host the next two games, were able to hold the potent Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, without a point and punished Vancouver on the power play with two goals.
"It's inexcusable. We're playing undisciplined and taking a lot of undisciplined penalties," Vancouver centre Ryan Kesler said. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault questioned the penalty that led to the winning goal as the puck hit a Canucks player who was headed off the ice with a cut. "It was the wrong call," Vigneault said. In the day's other play-off games, the Washington Capitals staged a third-period comeback to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-5 and tie that series at 1-1. Nicklas Backstrom scored the winner in overtime, giving him a hat-trick on the night. The series now moves to Montreal.
In Buffalo, Boston rallied with three goals in the third period to beat Buffalo 5-3 and tie their series at one game each. Both Michael Ryder and Zdeno Chara scored twice for the Bruins, who will host the next two games. * Reuters